Partner law offices are the worksites for LfA Fellows and the backbone of our organization. We are actively enrolling nonprofit and government organizations to be our partners.
Our Fellows provide human capital to partner sites facing high volumes of work and shortages of manpower. LfA Fellows work at partner sites for approximately 21 months, encompassing their last year of law school and their first year as newly-minted attorneys. Our Fellows will provide much-needed high quality staffing for our partner organizations.
While partner organizations must pay for the support of Fellows, LfA Fellows are very inexpensive compared to regular first-year attorneys. The payment for a two-year LfA fellow is approximately half the fully-allocated cost of a first year attorney within a given geographic region. One new attorney salary and benefits would thus put four Fellows into each partner office at one time: two third-year students and two new attorneys (who have spent their third year at the office). We believe there will be a 3:1 productivity gain. Thus, LfA enables our partner offices to increase their overall manpower while staying within existing budgetary frameworks.
Almost all of the funds paid for Fellows are expected to go toward their support in the form of salary and benefits for their first post-graduate year and, if possible, for scholarship aid for 3L Fellows. LfA is seeking grants and philanthropic funds to support the central organization. LfA will also seek contributions from the legal and general community to help support Fellows to work for very low-budget organizations facing high levels of unmet legal need.
Implementing our program and getting LfA Fellows into your office is a simple process. We encourage you to contact us to discuss our program and to become an LfA partner.
LfA Fellows will be selected by law school faculty and staff with input from partner sites. Some law schools may choose to implement a two-stage selection process, choosing "candidate fellows" right after first year, to assure that those interested in the program select proper coursework for their 2L year. Others may prefer a one-stage selection process during the 2L year. Partner organizations will have the opportunity to interview and select their Fellows from the law school's candidate pool.
As 3Ls in the program, each LfA Fellow will be a tuition-payer at his or her law school, supervised by faculty who will also provide the necessary classroom component for the clinical program, while a full participant in the work of the partner law office. Fellows will be eligible for student financial aid.
LfA Fellows would not compete with, but rather complement, fellows provided almost entirely free of charge by such programs as Equal Justice Works and Skadden Fellows. The number of fellows in all such existing programs is small compared to the amount of unmet legal need. Because participating, and benefiting, work sites will be budgeting for Fellows, the LfA program will not be reliant on the vagaries of outside philanthropic dollars and will be able to provide a stable source of legal manpower for partner offices.
LfA Fellows will not have any entitlement to continued employment at partner offices. As our program increases in size, LfA anticipates holding “job fairs” with the expectation that Fellows will be sought-after employees in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors of the legal community.